Diego Salinas, the Colo Colo player who qualified for the eSports World Cup

Diego Salinas, the Colo Colo player who qualified for the eSports World Cup
Diego Salinas, the Colo Colo player who qualified for the eSports World Cup

In November 2024 in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, the Electronic Sports World Cup (eSports World Cup, EWC), a tournament that will host the best on the planet in various video games. One of them is eFootballwhich will have as the representative of Chile a player from Colo Colo eSports: Diego Salinas.

The 26-year-old civil engineer, originally from the commune of La Florida, This Sunday the title of the Chile National Series of eSports was awarded in person at the Titanium Tower in Las Condes, where he got tickets to the World Cup in the Middle East. His rival in the final was another Colo Colo player, Francisco Riquelme, whom he beat 2-0 in the best of three games series.. The key was so even that the two duels that Salinas won were on penalties, after tying 1-1 and 2-2 in regulation time.

I had had finals in individual format, where I couldn’t take the title, that’s why yesterday after the final I felt joy and euphoria for the moment and relief for everything that had happened, for the instances where I couldn’t be champion. There were many hours, many years of playing, since I have been playing Winning Eleven since PlayStation 1 (precursor game to the current eFootball). I have received a lot of love from teammates, friends and family who have sent me congratulatory messages,” says the new national champion in conversation with DaleAlbo.

He did not have an easy path in the tournament to reach the final and win the title. In the semifinals he beat Fabian Hernández (Fix) 2-0, a player from O’Higgins who was the favorite for being the champion of the last in-person tournaments. And previously, he left behind three of Cacique’s teammates who knew his way of playing perfectly: Gustavo Mirando, Nicolás Becerra and Fabio Cuevas.

Diego Salinas (right) with Francisco Riquelme (left), the two colocolinos in the final | Photo: Colo Colo eSports

Diego Salinas’ dream of representing Colo Colo in a World Cup

Colo Colo eSports is an official branch of the club that was created in 2020, and which has a group of 27 players with great professionalism and dedication. The camaraderie of the team helped Diego Salinas qualify for the World Cup: “To prepare for this qualifier I played with two colleagues from Colo Colo eSports, Diego Cortés and Sergio Poblete“, in addition to some others in our group where we look for games to train, and among ourselves try to maintain the team’s level.”

He confesses that his experience in tournament definitions weighed heavily in the final against Francisco Riquelme: “It was his first face-to-face match and I think that with a little experience I was able to carry out that duel, since the penalties were decisive in winning the series.”

With the classification Saudi Arabia eSports World Cupthe colocolino will not take it as a walk or trip to meet possible world football stars who will be present at the event, but as a competition in which he will go for the trophy: “Yes, I would be excited to meet world stars who are in Arabia, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar or Sadio Mané, but What I am focused on and will focus on at that moment will be competing and raising the name of Colo Colo and Chile. Furthermore, if I had the opportunity to meet a soccer star, I would rather meet Matías Fernández than Cristiano.“, mentions the one who wore shirt 14 in the final.

“Being able to compete against the best motivates me a lot, it is the first time that I will be in front of so many champions from their countries. I hope to be up to the task, we are going to give everything in training to arrive prepared for the World Cup and to be able to represent Colo Colo eSport, the people of Colo Colo, the Colocolino people and also on this occasion the Chilean flag“, closes the Cacique gamer professional player.

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